Motlanthe: 'We will never forsake the masses'

The masses will always be part of the African National Congress (ANC), therefore the party would never leave the country’s people on their own, South African President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Sunday.

“The ANC would always be on the side of the masses, it would never leave or abandon you,” the ANC deputy-president told hundreds of ANC
supporters in Maokeng in the Free State.

Motlanthe said the trust and faith Maokeng had put in the ruling party would not be wasted.

“Your needs would be addressed properly.”

Earlier, Motlanthe went on a door-to-door campaign in Marabastad to find residents were not happy with the conditions of the streets, houses and the infrastructure.

“The houses in Marabastad are in a state of disrepair and dilapidated,” Motlanthe said.

“Just to walk in the streets [in Marabastad], is a struggle but the ANC has always been an organisation of struggle, we know,” he told the
crowd.

Motlanthe said “others [political parties] would come and make promises to people in the area because they have no responsibility”.

He said the ANC would never make empty promises.

“We take our time and never lie, we never make promises,” he said.

While walking door-to-door in the area, Motlanthe at times had to walk and jump over puddles of sewage water flowing in the streets.

One of the houses Motlanthe visited was that of Petrus Maoke.

The 43-year-old man was very surprised when Motlanthe walked in the door of his house unannounced while he was busy preparing lunch.

With a whole plucked chicken in one hand, the unemployed Maoke was all smiles when Motlanthe talked to him.

Leaving the chicken in the kitchen and following the crowd, Maoke said he told Motlanthe there was a need for houses and jobs in Kroonstad.

Abraham Lechalaba, (49) told the state president they were not happy with the streets in the neighbourhood.

John Malefane (73) and his domestic worker wife, Gladys (62) invited Motlanthe into their four bedroom corrugated-iron house.

After a 15 minute chat with Motlanthe in the kitchen area, Malefane said his problems of getting a house might now be over.

“Kyk hoe lyk die huis, die sink kan enige tyd loop.” [Look at this house, it can give in anytime].

Malefane said if he could get a house, “everything would be fine”.

Further down the street and four more visits, the subject of discussions between Motlanthe and residents had not changed.

Following the home visits, the ANC deputy president urged ANC supporters to speak out on issues troubling them and to always demand the best from their public representatives because they deserve the best.

“We do not want passive communities ... we do not want a passive membership.”

Motlanthe also urged communities to look after bulk infrastructure at a municipal level.

He said municipalities should employ people who could do maintenance on the infrastructure.

Motlanthe’s door-to-door campaign in the Free State started on Saturday and it was while addressing residents of Thabong township that he spoke on the upcoming general elections.

He urged members of the public to elect people who can do the work.

“Government officials are there to work and not enrich themselves.”

He said councillors and public officials should also take time to think about those who brought them into power.

“They are there to deliver a service,” he said at Saturday’s rally. - Sapa

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